How can Counselling help me?
How can counselling help me?
Counselling is a safe, non-judgmental and confidential space where you can talk about whatever is going on for you. It helps you find new ways of dealing with your issues and to develop life skills that are healthy and empowering. Your counsellor will not tell you what to do, but instead will help you find your own solutions to problems by assisting you with ideas and suggestions that have helped other young people with similar difficulties. Some people feel nervous about talking to a counsellor. Sometimes it helps to bring someone else with you for support, perhaps a friend or family member. You might be wondering how counselling can help you and what will happen during sessions. So, here is some basic information about what you can expect. First of all, well done for recognising that you need some additional support and for having the courage to seek help.
What happens in counselling?
Counselling appointments usually go for 50 minutes to an hour. As you are under 16, before the counsellor meets you they will first see at least one of your parents to get background information that will help them better understand what is worrying you and whether or not they are the right person to see you. For your first visit with the counsellor, your parent will come into the room with you. After the counsellor talks to you about what happens in counselling, they will check with you to see if you are comfortable about your parent leaving the room. If not, that’s ok and your parent can stay with you. The counsellor might then ask you some questions or ask you to do some activities that will help them get to know you better – maybe some drawings or some writing. It’s ok for you to ask the counsellor questions, too. This is also a chance for you to see if you feel comfortable and safe with the counsellor and think they are someone you are ok about talking to. Sometimes this can take a few visits. If you don’t feel ok with the counsellor then let the counsellor or your parent know.
As well as talking, you might do some creative activities (perhaps a drawing or painting), play a game, listen to some music, or write a story. These activities will help you to express and understand your feelings and thoughts and help you learn new skills to deal with whatever is troubling you in safe and healthy ways.
How often do I need to go?
If you think that counselling might be something that’s worth a try, then the counsellor will talk to your parent about how often would be helpful for you to visit, perhaps weekly or fortnightly. You can see the counsellor for as long as you feel you need it – that might be for only a few times or for many.
Do I need my parents consent to attend counselling?
Since you are under 16 you need the permission of at least one of your parents before you can come to counselling.
Sessions with your counsellor are confidential. This means that without your permission, the counsellor cannot tell anyone else what you say in sessions, except in some special circumstances. If the counsellor is concerned about your safety or the safety of others, then they might need to speak to someone else – this is to try to keep everyone safe and is required by law. There are also some other circumstances that your counsellor will talk to you about during your first session.